“When I started this journey, it felt like I was pretty much alone… I know that it’s my own idea, it’s my own business and I become my own boss, but it gets to a point that you feel like, “I won’t make it.” And when I found Prospera it kind of gave me some sense of guidance and I could call them in and tap them when I need help. It was just a dream, it was just an idea, but when I found Prospera it just made it possible.”
What is your dream and how do you feel supported to achieve it? At Prospera we believe in the power of “acompañamiento”, walking alongside our participants and supporting dreams like Stephanie’s, which each day motivate us to work with passion, dedication, tenacity and love. Thanks to your collaboration and commitment to our vision, we share these dreams with you.
This year we once again look back at the path we have traveled with pride and gratitude for all we have accomplished. These accomplishments would not be possible without your solidarity! You make up an important part of a vibrant team, consisting of amazing entrepreneurs, the Prospera staff and board, volunteers, funders, partners… and everyone who helps to make the program participants’ dreams possible.
At Prospera we seek each day to live by the ancient Mayan wisdom of inlakesh, meaning, “You are my other self”. We know that fulfilling the dream of a Latina entrepreneur brings joy, growth and prosperity to her entire community. What we have achieved and learned in 2021 is abundant, and we share just a few of these milestones with you below:
- We launched our 2021-2023 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan reflects the voices of more than 40 participants, staff and board members, and allies and highlights Prospera’s vision for advancing a just and inclusive economy led by and for Latina women. To share this collective vision, we hosted celebratory events with funders and partners.
- Over 300 entrepreneurs have been impacted by our programs.
- In Spring 2021 50 entrepreneurs graduated from our core business and cooperative training program, Explora, and 36 more in Fall.
- 11 formalized businesses in our community of entrepreneurs, Crece, are poised to grow.
- Our Fellowship program continues! Co-founder De Colores C. Collective, Celia Álvarez, increased her client portfolio from 1 to 10 clients and doubled her revenues so far from 2020 to 2021 after only one year of her fellowship. In August we welcomed Martha Franco of Doulas Telar and Jenny Conejo of Karany Arts to the Fellowship class of 2021-23!
- Our programs are becoming national. Explora has reached 13 states, and we have presented 13 Community Events open to the public nationwide via Facebook Live.
- Radical Inclusion of participants in Prospera is real! Radical Inclusion translates in Prospera into community leadership of the organization! Indeed our Board Chair is founder of Luna y Sol Nanny Collective, Ana Castaño, with founder of Pepitos Paletas Nancy Rosales making up part of our Board of Directors. The Latina Resiliency Fund is also managed by program participants. Every time we hire a new staff member, program participants are part of the hiring process as well!
- The Coalition Levantando Nuestras Voces, which we launched last year in collaboration with Latino Community Foundation and is now formed by 17 community organizations, continues to grow stronger.
- We launched our Podcast “Para Todas,” an initiative that recognizes the importance of embracing the power of our personal stories and creates visibility around key topics and values in the Prospera community!
- Redefining and reframing leadership as cooperative in a society that imposes individualism is integral to Prospera’s values. Claudia Arroyo, who has been our Executive Director for a year and a half, has continued implementing collective leadership practices, recognizing the wealth of expertise of all the members of the Prospera Family. This includes consolidating our team of directors, formed by Claudia Delgado, Operations and Finance Director, and Maite Gascó, Development and Communications Director, both former managers, and the incorporation of Ingrid Marthy, our new Program and Strategic Alliances Director!
- Growth and strengthening of our program team. Two of our participants are proud to be incorporated into the Prospera team! Two former fellows have joined as staff members, Anahi Rojas, founder of Professional Eco Cleaning, and Dani Preisler, co-founder of Colmenar Consulting. Their experience as entrepreneurs and their long association with Prospera make them key players in the success and growth of our programs.
- Guided by our Evaluation and Learning Manager, Danielle Ancin, we are launching a new data management system, which will allow us to more efficiently track participant progress, measure and communicate success, and continually improve our programs.
- Financial health and stability. We close the year quite content thanks to renewals of support and the incorporation of new funders, who allow us to keep growing and advancing our plans to support even more entrepreneurs and maintain long-term economic sustainability.
Thanks for continuing to create the magic of breaking individualism and generating Collective Power! Without you, we would not be where we are today. All of Prospera’s achievements belong to you. We invite you to share our mission with 3 members of your friends, family, and colleagues so that they can fall in love with Prospera too.
They can visit our “Dreams are Possible” campaign to help us reach our goal of $ 30,000 before December 31st and support the dreams of our entrepreneurs! All donations benefit Latina immigrant entrepreneurs, supporting their business through facilitating their access to tools, skills, networks and capital needed for business establishment, expansion and pandemic adaptation.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your continuous support of Prospera and our community.
Wishing you all the best for 2022!
Claudia Arroyo and Prospera Team